[CQ-Contest] 160 window in ARRL 160m contest,

Bill Tippett btippett at alum.mit.edu
Fri Dec 9 14:26:42 EST 2005

Hi Ron,

At 12:46 PM 12/9/05, Ron Feutz wrote:
>At 08:23 AM 12/9/2005, Bill Tippett wrote:
>>KK9K wrote:
>>  >Left undiscussed was the use of the window by loud Caribbean stations
>>as their own private clear channel to run the US, as the thread was
>>cut off when this subject came up.
>>          Yes, because loud Zone 9/10 Intercontinentals
>>(think PJ2T, P40W, HC8N) could do exactly the same
>>and be perfectly within the rules.  Where do you
>>draw the line?
>Simple - they shouldn't be in the window for the 160 
>contests.  Neither should Pr or 6Y, or anyone else running QRO in 
>the Caribbean.

         Not so simple and not so fast.  What is QRO?
A station in the Caribbean running 100W to a vertical
over salt water will always be many dB above any EU
station.  Furthermore, the real issue is not the DX
signal strength, but the pileups created by NA calling.
Even a 6Y running 5W to a vertical on salt water will
create a huge pileup.  Are you proposing some sort
of rule based on ERP?  Good luck.

>  Its not a matter of rules, its a matter of common sense and courtesy.

         But it is a matter of rules...otherwise anything
goes.  Even with the present window rule, many don't
follow it, and it is not enforced anyway.  Rules without
enforcement equals no rules...somewhat equivalent
to ARRL's Bandplan when W8VLN decides to exercise
his freedom of speech to use SSB below 1840.  There
actually is one way to enforce the window.  If the sponsor
auto-eliminated from both logs non-intercontinental QSOs
within the window, I suspect that would quickly clean up
the NA guys who like to park there now...but I'm not
holding my breath that this would ever happen.

>  The window should be a place where real DX can be heard by 
> stations who don't have great RX antennas, which is most of the 
> participants. 2 or 3 loud Carib stations and their associated 
> pileups use up half or more of the window.  As I pointed out on the 
> other reflector, we didn't hear KV4FZ in the window did we?  Follow 
> Herb's example.

         Herb followed the rules this time, although I
assume you know he has not always done so.  The
rules have always stated Intercontinental QSOs only
in the window.  Intercontinental QSOs means Zones
31 (KH6), 9 (PJ2, P4) and 10 (HC8) and are all OK.
Try a rewrite of the rule you want.  Would you disallow
Zone 9 which is actually Intercontinental, but not 10?
PJ2T is not OK (Caribbean) but YV1NX is OK (mainland)?
And what about HC8N in Zone 10 (not Caribbean)?  I
doubt you can write a simple rule...and no rule equals
no window.  What do you do about Big Gun EU's who sit
in the window working both NA and EU stations that call?
The problem with the whole concept is that if it cannot
be enforced, the good guys who try to follow it are
penalized relative to the bad guys who don't follow it.
Is that what we are trying to encourage?

>Now, we don't need to debate whether or not the station is in NA or 
>SA, or the exact wording or myriad interpretations of the rule(s), 
>or what the window once was, or is for other contests, or what "real 
>DX" is, or what the IARU or ARRL think, or anyone's personal 
>history, or anything else. What we need is for big gun stations in 
>the Caribbean to apply the golden rule, and let the majority of the 
>participants have a reasonable shot at working some real DX.

         Big guns in the Caribbean are not the real
problem.  The problem is strong DX stations from
anywhere and their ensuing big NA pileups which
override weaker DX stations.  Guess what, that's
also why most really rare DX avoids the window
like the plague.  No window definition or rule will
ever solve this, but good RX antennas will.  If a
person is antenna-handicapped (err...challenged)
and really wants to work DX, I suggest they avoid
the ARRL 160 like the plague, focus on pre-contest
activity and then take their XYL somewhere nice
for the weekend.  The ARRL 160 in particular is
no place for someone with poor RX antennas who
is hoping to work DX (the ARRL DX is much better
for this).

         As I said before, I have always thought the
window rule is a misguided waste of spectrum, and
that includes the 9 years I operated from Colorado
(not the Black Hole or West Coast but also not
just an East Coast perspective).

                         73,  Bill  W4ZV 

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